Teachers not doing it for the kids

They are engaged in a Union vs. Government struggle







Dear editor,

I am a little fed up with the articles in the papers over the B.C. teachers’ situation. I have read of letters dictated by a Grade 1 class teacher, of letters written by students and, of course, the standard “walk a mile in my shoes” letters to the press from teachers or union reps. If I hear one more time that teachers are on strike for the sake of the kids, I will be sick.

Pure and simple. The teachers are in a Union vs. Government fight over wages and working conditions. If the teachers can reduce the class size by 50 per cent, this means twice the number of teachers will be hired and the BCTF will benefit from increased union dues.

While teachers work to rule (or “bell to bell” as they call it) they are well within their current contractual rights and obligations. Parents must ask, then, are they doing the work of teaching. By refusing to issue report cards, they are hurting students applying for a higher education.

Figures from a BCTF website show a salary range of $47,539 to $81,561 for teachers.

As teachers are required to work 5.15 hours per day for 193 days, they work under their current contract a total of 993.95 hours per calendar year or ½ the ours worked by you and I. Dividing one by the other, teachers make between $47.83 to $82.06 per hour and they want 15 per cent more. or $94.37.

We all know that teachers put more time than this into their work so why don’t we define that in their contract? I am in favour of paying teachers extra to do the so called “volunteer work” and I would find that money by reducing the pay of the teachers who work bell to bell.

I agree with teachers who complain about the inclusion of special need kids into a regular class. It is sad that we should treat these kids in a different way, but I don’t think the drain on the learning of the other kids justifies our current system – we have to finds a better solution to this problem.

I am really disappointed at the message sent by teachers who announce, boldly, that they are going to refuse to obey the legislation and will insist that any fines received be removed as part of the back to work deal. What kind of message does this send to our kids – defy the law then bitch about the resulting penalties?

Let’s face it teachers, you are in a legal strike situation and I am not pleased with your tactics and I would refuse to pay you $94.37 per hour.

It is sad that we have to paint good teachers with this black and tarry brush but you are a unionized group and hence do get tarred together.

R.D. Guelpa, P Eng.


Comox Valley



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